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Old 05-09-2012, 12:07 AM   #1
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Auto Shop says I need a new Radiator

Okay...I will admit that I'm not the most mechanically inclined person. Took my 93 YJ Wrangler to an auto shop just for diagnostic tests. They reported back to me that my radiator is leaking near the top seams and I need to have it changed out right away or I stand a chance of having my jeep overheat. Well....In the past, I have driven the jeep in traffic (going about 10 mph) while the weather was hot. My jeep never overheated. I told the auto ship I would get back to them. I immediately went home and popped the hood. I saw no leakage anywhere. My garage floor doesn't have one spot of any type of automotive fluid on the floor. Well...I thinking about changing the radiator myself. I have a jeep buddy who says he can help. Want to hear some of your opinions.

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrangler_bear
Okay...I will admit that I'm not the most mechanically inclined person. Took my 93 YJ Wrangler to an auto shop just for diagnostic tests. They reported back to me that my radiator is leaking near the top seams and I need to have it changed out right away or I stand a chance of having my jeep overheat. Well....In the past, I have driven the jeep in traffic (going about 10 mph) while the weather was hot. My jeep never overheated. I told the auto ship I would get back to them. I immediately went home and popped the hood. I saw no leakage anywhere. My garage floor doesn't have one spot of any type of automotive fluid on the floor. Well...I thinking about changing the radiator myself. I have a jeep buddy who says he can help. Want to hear some of your opinions.
The seams on those did have a tendency to leak, sometimes you can solder the leaking tank, or if it's real bad, a new radiator isn't that expensive. And they are easy to change.

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:57 AM   #3
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if you don't see it leaking and aren't losing coolant or overheating, I wouldn't worry too much

If you do decide to replace it, do it yourself for the experience.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:17 AM   #4
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They may be playing you. I've had shops try to pull a fast one on me and my family members saying this and that needs fixing/replacing with a price tag of $500-1000+ thinking im some dumb bloke that doesn't know squat. Just keep an eye on it, and like the guys said if it is do it yourself saves you lots of money alot of the time.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:24 AM   #5
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If you want to test it out mark where the coolant level is and if it drops drastically it could be leaking but if you havent seen anything then im pretty sure you dont have a leak. And if it was going to over heat it would have been...... I think there b.s.ing you
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:28 AM   #6
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Go to autozone and get a loan a tool pressure tester that hooks on your radiator and pump the pressure up and see, if it really leaks, then tell the shop to stick it up their you know what. If, it leaks replace it with your Jeep buddy and save a ton of money.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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Maybe just replace it...peace of mind that now you no there is nothing wrong with it...very easy to do yourself...
Did mine and the water pump in about 4 hrs...cost me 250 for both and about 5 bux for the RTV...
rad and Wpump from bensons since i bought both they gave it to me @ cost
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:50 AM   #8
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Magnet... that's the kind of response I love to read. These kind of tests give you the confidence to talk to a mechanic about this stuff. I'm a newbie and trying to be a sponge... thanks. Tom
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:55 AM   #9
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Don't throw away money

Like above, go to the auto store and borrow the pressure tester for the radiator. You will have to be careful if you drive it very far there as the radiator will be hot and under pressure.

Check the radiator overflow bottle both when cold and hot. Fill it to the level indicated and/or put a mark on it for each condition. Then just watch it.

There is no advantage to replacing the radiator if it isn't leaking. And it is extremely unlikely that it will go as a catastrophic anyway. Just need to watch the radiator level in the overflow bottle.

If it were leaking it would leave a greenish residue that is unmistakable and very obvious.

Also log down that company's name as a place not to go back to.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:59 AM   #10
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The radiator is easy to change... Two hoses, a few bolts for the fan shroud, a few bolts for the radiator and that's it. Consider changing the thermostat, belt, and heater hoses since you'll be working in that area. All of those aren't expensive at all.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:18 AM   #11
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I got my Jeep 2 months ago and my rad was in the same shape. I got a unit from Auto Zone with a lifetime warranty for around $100 on sale. My only mechanical experience is from oil/transmission fluid changes and a few brake jobs. I did it myself and made a giant mess draining the fluid. Its definitely worth doing it yourself if you get satisfaction from working on your stuff and getting a little greasy. That's part of the reason I bought a Jeep in the first place.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:23 AM   #12
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Shops love to replace radiators... why? Because its easy and they can charge a lot for it. If its not losing coolant, its not an issue. If you do decide to tackle it yourself, make sure you buy lots of good penetrant, like PB Blaster or Kroil.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:05 AM   #13
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Anyone try the Spectre radiator from Rockauto....? it's only 92.00. Mine has alot of fins missing and I'd like to replace it before it fails.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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Got an el cheapo radiator from NAPA for $103.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:00 PM   #15
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Even if your radiator IS losing fluid, how would one be so sure that the fluid is escaping the cooling system entirely? Remember, there is a coolant overflow system that works both ways.. Pushes expanded coolant out, then sucks it back in if it needs to.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:46 PM   #16
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Well guys.....The radiator has been replaced!!!!!! And yes....I did it myself (with the help of a good friend). And guess what? The old radiator was fine. Looks like somebody is going to be writing a review on Yelp and other review sites about a certain auto repair shop. Thanks for all of your suggestions....they have really helped. I hope that I can one day pass on good informative information like you guys have to me. Next project...a good tune-up. Guess who'll be doing it? ME!!! Until the next issue....Take care.

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Old 05-11-2012, 01:04 PM   #17
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Name the shop here... Don't hold back.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:08 PM   #18
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:11 PM   #19
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Oh well. So much for information sharing. Hopefully no one here drops by that shop and gets the shaft.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:12 PM   #20
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Angie's list would be a great place to list that shop.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV8R View Post
Angie's list would be a great place to list that shop.
Or just a town and addy.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #22
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Sneaky!
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:40 PM   #23
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It's all in the delivery.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:36 PM   #24
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I really hate dirtbag repair places. Like there isn't enough work on any 10 year old car you could offer to repair that is actually legitimate.

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